Jeff Smith of Traverse Magazine asks Can Sugar Loaf Mountain Come Back? After presenting a really excellent history of the resort from its founding in 1964 and through its sad demise (we’re almost at the 10 year anniversary of its closing), Smith takes a look at what’s going on right now. Some highlights:
Rumors are circulating that some kind of Sugar Loaf deal is in the wind involving an investment group headed by David Skjaerlund, from Owosso. Skjaerlund spent the past several months getting options on several Sugar Loaf town houses and nearby properties, according to Tony Mattar, who co-manages the town house association.
(County Commissioner Dave “Chauncey” Shifflet) has worked with county planner Trudy Galla to establish a brownfield development authority in large part to address any contamination issues at Sugar Loaf—subsequent studies of the buildings and underground storage tanks have found very little contamination. He and Galla have also laid the groundwork for a tax increment finance zone that could help the developer pay for demolition and cleanup costs.
…Shifflet has been beating the drum for a business center there for years now—high tech info-based businesses that just need a fat data pipeline to do their work. “We have an aging population. We have to figure how to attract young working families that doesn’t revolve around recreation. We need employment opportunities, like intellectual arts, multimedia content creation, maybe a film production studio. People working day in and day out, not just on the weekends,” he says.